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Beyond DoD SBIRs: Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)

Posted by Ed Bard on

Defense Innovation Unit LogoYou may have heard about the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.  The SBIR is marketed by the US Government as “America’s Seed Fund” and has granted well over 150,000 awards totaling well over $40 billion of non-dilutive small business funding.  You may not be aware that there are many other non-dilutive innovation funding programs.  This series will introduce you to some other current options.

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) was originally started in 2015.  It is an organization within the United States Department of Defense (DoD).  Its focus is on the acceleration of commercial technologies that solve US Military problems.  The DIU portfolio is defined, based upon https://www.diu.mil/, as, “solutions in a variety of areas – from autonomy and AI to human systems, IT, and space – to solve a host of defense problems.”  The DIU portfolio includes hardware, software and service solutions.  

To start working with DIU you can check to see if they have any open solicitations.  These may be found at grants.gov or at the DIU website  If there are no current and/or relevant solicitations, you can submit an unsolicited brief here:  https://www.diu.mil/work-with-us/companies/non-cso-solution-brief. If your solution brief is of interest, the DIU may invite you to prepare and submit a full proposal.

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